Title: Delivery
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: September 12, 2022
Rating: G
Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.

Business at the garage was good, Jake thought as he opened a car’s air filter cover. Not great, but finally steady. In fact… He checked the clock. It was almost time to call for the pizza they were having delivered tonight to celebrate their small success. Also to celebrate that the delivery drivers had finally figured out how to find them. It was good to acknowledge the little things. Every tiny step forward.

And, maybe after pizza and a movie – “The Giant Maw”, Chance’s choice after reading the back of the case while Jake bit his tongue – he’d burn some midnight oil and go over his tentative plans for a jet again. He’d taken careful stock of the scrap available, and he thought he had the beginnings of a workable plan. Although, the only engines that were usable were also so old he was going to have to heavily modify them. And, even then, the power output…

The driveway signal bell chimed.

“It’s a half hour after closing,” Chance muttered, coming out from under the hood of an aging green station wagon. “No way that’s a customer out here this late.”

It was summer, so it would be light for a couple more hours, but Chance was right. No one would have driven this far out of town at this time of day. Which meant it was probably Burke and Murray with fresh scrap and stale taunts.

Jake met Chance’s eyes. At an unseen signal they both threw out a hand.

Jake’s was flat for paper. Chance’s fingers were making a scissor motion.

“Oh, fine.” Jake pulled himself out of the car and headed for the door.

It wasn’t Burke and Murray. In fact, the orange-furred tomkat just knocking was dressed in a uniform with the Puma-Dyne logo. And, behind him, in a cloud of dust from the salvage yard’s sad excuse for a driveway, was a small convoy of covered flatbeds.

Jake opened the door slowly. “Can I help you?”

“Is this the Enforcers’ military salvage yard?”

A reasonable question since the yard didn’t advertise itself as such for whatever weak security that provided.

“Yes, are you making a delivery?”

The tomkat thumbed to the line of vehicles. “I’ve got ten trailers worth.”

Ten flatbed trailers loaded with cast-offs from Puma-Dyne. The company that developed weapons for the Enforcers, satellites for the space program, and who knew what else. Jake hoped he wasn’t openly drooling. Because he couldn’t wait to see what was under those tarps.

Easy, Jake, don’t get ahead of yourself,’ he scolded as he shouted back into the garage, “Chance! Delivery!” It could be a load of ancient office computers. Without hard drives, of course. Or nothing but old metal desks.

Still, the anticipation built in his chest as he directed the Puma-Dyne team around to the Enforcer scrap area and eagerly offered his and Chance’s services in unloading. The excitement must have shown on his face because Chance only gave him a slightly dirty look at that.

What? It was their job, after all. Besides, the scowl melted away as soon as the tarps were off. Ten trucks worth of assorted parts. Sure, some of it was desks and destroyed tank armor clearly used in munitions tests. But, he personally - carefully – placed a nearly intact heads-up display beside an old Enforcer jet.

“Just chuck it,” said one of the Puma-Dyne drivers.

“You guys don’t ever come back for anything?” The Enforcers didn’t, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

“Nah, this is junk.”

Jake nodded and quickly turned to grab another piece of equipment before his smile could show through. Because that included the real prizes. At least four jet engines. Chance had gone to fire up the old crane to unload them himself. And, probably to hide his own grin.

They did, eventually, get pizza, which was delicious. Watched the movie, which was as terrible as Jake remembered it. (And, Chance’s disgust at the awful monster puppet was as hilarious as he’d hoped.) And then, Jake burned more than a little midnight oil completely revamping his plans, which were looking a lot more promising.

Author's Note: And, if you're curious, the movie they're watching is a joke on "The Giant Claw", which... well, look it up.